Thu 21st Aug 2014 | Last updated: Wed 20th Aug 2014 at 15:26pm

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Holy Land still safe for pilgrims, says head of US tour operator

Pilgrims stand outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City (CNS)

Conflict between Israel and Hamas has not stopped pilgrimages ‘functioning like normal’

Agency seeks donations for emergency aid for Iraqi Christians

A Christian woman carries a cross during a recent demonstration in Irbil, Iraq (CNS)

International Catholic agency issues plea for emergency funds to help refugees forced to leave Mosul

Iraqi Christians brave heat to demand help from United Nations

Christian refugees march against persecution by Islamic State fighters outside the UN compound in Irbil, Iraq (also below - CNS)

Demonstrators faint in the heat during march on UN base in Irbil.

Former ‘guardian’ of Vatican artworks dies at 85

Cardinal Francesco Marchisano delivering an address in 2006 (AP)

Italian Cardinal Francesco Marchisano passed away on Sunday

Anglicans joining Ordinariate are like ‘hobbits in search of treasure’

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (CNS)

Mgr Newton discusses ‘one of his favourite children’s books’ in Sunday homily